Election 2020: Inside Georgia’s Senate races

The nation will be watching Georgia in 2020. 

With two U.S. Senate seats on the ballot, the state will be have a big say in which party controls that chamber. 

Republican David Perdue currently holds one of the offices. The Democrats recruited Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a statewide race for governor in 2018, to run against him. But she declined

Here’s a look at the current state of the race for Perdue’s office. 

Who’s running

Perdue is running for a second term that he says will be his last. On the Democratic side are Jon Ossoff, who raised $30 million for his narrow loss in the 2017 6th Congressional District special election; Sarah Riggs Amico, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2018; Teresa Tomlinson, a former mayor of Columbus; and Ted Terry, the mayor of Clarkston. Other Democrats are considering a run. 

>> Read more: Who’s challenging Sen. David Perdue in 2020?


Here’s how election forecasters currently rate the race. 

Cook Political Report Inside Elections Sabato's Crystal Ball
Likely Republican Lean Republican Lean Republican

Georgia’s special election for the Senate 

Filling the seat that U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is vacating at the end of the year will take two steps. First, Gov. Brian Kemp will name a successor to serve in 2020. 

>> Related: Who has applied for Isakson’s seat

His choice will also likely run in a special election set for November 2020 that will pit candidates from all political parties on the same ballot. In the event that no candidate wins a majority of the votes in that contest, which is unlikely, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held Jan. 5, 2021. The winner of that election will serve the final two years of Isakson’s term, which ends in 2023.

Kemp has yet to name a successor, and nobody has announced that he or she is running in the special election.


>> Trump-Perdue bond reaches milestone and shapes Georgia Senate race

>> African Americans key to Democrats’ hopes but absent in Ga. Senate race

>> A Stacey Abrams-less Georgia Senate race is about to heat up

>> Inside David Perdue’s 2020 race for another U.S. Senate term


In 1990, Democrats had such a stranglehold on the state that Republicans did not nominate a candidate to run against Sam Nunn, who had held the seat since 1973. Six years later when Nunn retired, Democrats barely held the seat. In the following election, in 2002, Republicans won it and have held it since. 

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